Oktoberfest in a froth over eBay sales

22nd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

22 September 2004 , MUNICH - Beer tent owners at the Munich Oktoberfest are trying to stop a thriving trade in sales over the internet of reserved seats in their giant marquees. Demand for a place in the beer tents at the annual festival, which opened Saturday and runs until October 3, is large among the expected six million visitors. Although the seats are free, one offer via the internet auction site eBay for 10 reserved places attracted an offer of EUR 351. Tent owners' spokesman Toni Roiderer said the

22 September 2004

MUNICH - Beer tent owners at the Munich Oktoberfest are trying to stop a thriving trade in sales over the internet of reserved seats in their giant marquees.

Demand for a place in the beer tents at the annual festival, which opened Saturday and runs until October 3, is large among the expected six million visitors.

Although the seats are free, one offer via the internet auction site eBay for 10 reserved places attracted an offer of EUR 351.

Tent owners' spokesman Toni Roiderer said the owners were against reserved places being bought and sold over the internet. Anyone trying to sell their seats would be struck off the reservations list, he said.

Beer tent reservations guarantee a free seat but visitors are obliged to buy a food and drinks voucher.

Munich mayor Christian Ude said the eBay offers were an example of the market economy.

"I don't really see how you can stop it," he said.

Ude opened the 16-day festival by tapping the first beer barrel Saturday - the start of what is expected to see the sale of some six million litres of beer, a half a million grilled chickens and plenty of other traditional Bavarian fare.

It will be a slightly more expensive time for Oktoberfest visitors this year, with a litre of beer up some 30 cents to up to EUR 7.10.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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